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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late

Prediction: GB 27, CHI 20

Friday Night Update: Hester missed practice on Friday day as well.

Thursday Night Update: Devin Hester has been held out of practices because of his calf and now he runs a big risk of not playing on Sunday. I am removing him from the projections now though he has not been ruled out. He has a bad matchup anyway and now is not healthy.

This rematch has the 8-4 Packers playing for a wildcard berth and on a four game winning streak. The Bears are 5-7 and not likely to contend but they are 4-2 at home this year and the Packers are 3-2 on the road. The Packers opened the season with a 21-15 home win over the Bears.

Green Bay Packers (8-4)
Homefield: Lambeau Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 CHI 21-15 -4 46
2 CIN 24-31 -9 42
3 @STL 36-17 -6.5 41
4 @MIN 23-30 +3.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 DET 26-0 -13.5 47.5
7 @CLE 31-3 -9.5 41.5
8 MIN 26-38 -3.5 46.5
9 @TB 28-38 -10 43.5
10 DAL 17-7 +3 48
11 SF 30-24 -6 42
12 @DET 34-12 -11 48
13 BAL 24-14 -3 44
14 @CHI - -3 43
15 @PIT - - -
16 SEA - - -
17 @ARI - - -
GB at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers     270,3
RB Ryan Grant 60 20  
TE Jermichael Finley   40,1  
WR Greg Jennings   70,1  
WR Donald Driver   80  
WR James Jones   40,1  
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: With only four games left to play and already swept by the Vikings, the Packers have no chance at the division but the 8-4 mark puts them in the driver's seat for postseason play if they can hang on for what could be a very bumpy ride. The lone remaining home game against the Seahawks should be easy enough but the Packers end with three road trips to Chicago, Pittsburgh and Arizona. This week is a must win because the Steelers and Cardinals will be trouble.

Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers remains one of the elite quarterbacks in the league with a score in every game and 25 passing touchdowns on the year. He has only thrown seven interceptions and eight games have no turnovers. He's a lock for 250 yards and two scores a week, the only question is if he adds on more.

Rodgers passed for only 184 yards and one touchdown in the opener for his worst game of the year. The Bears have since allowed 20 more touchdowns including Kurt Warner and Carson Palmer who both had five scores against the Bears. Expect a nice showing here by Rodgers.

Running Backs: The Packers do not use a committee per se but they pass so much that Ryan Grant is usually capped around 20 carries per game with only minimal involvement as a receiver. Grant has been a solid contributor each week though never spectacular or game changing. He has five touchdowns on the year and has averaged around 75 yards per game.

Grant opened the year with 61 yards on 16 carries with one score against the Bears.

The Bears have only allowed two runners to score in Chicago and mist end with only moderate yardage. This is a road game so expect just another solid, unspectacular game from Grant.

Wide Receivers: Donald Driver comes off a season low 31 yards against the Ravens but still had a touchdown and has scored six times on the year. Greg Jennings has been solid with yardage but only has three scores and on the road has been held to 61 yards or less for the last four outings. James Jones has been less productive in yardage but has four touchdowns this year.

In the season opener, Driver was held to four catches for 39 yards and Jennings had one of his best games of the year when he had six receptions for 106 yards and one score.

The Bears have a weak secondary and the #1 wideout usually ends up with 100 yards and a score against them. That has typically been the split end like Jennings who has already had a nice showing against them. But Driver is still in the mix as is Jones. Look for at least decent yardage from each wideout and a score for Jennings and Jones.

Tight Ends: Jermichael Finley has a knee bruise on Monday night but that did not stop him from his season best game of two touchdowns with 79 yards on seven receptions as the lead receiver for the Packers. Finley only had one catch in the first meeting with the Bears but has become much more involved in the offense recently. The Bears have also allowed seven scores to tight ends this season. I like a lower yardage game from Finley but like his chance for a score again this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points GB 1 23 8 4 6 3
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 22 17 27 14 20 13

Chicago Bears (5-7)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 15-21 +4 46
2 PIT 17-14 +3 37.5
3 @SEA 25-19 -2 37
4 DET 48-24 -10.5 38.5
5 BYE - - -
6 @ATL 14-21 +3 45.5
7 @CIN 10-45 +1 42.5
8 CLE 30-6 +11.5 39.5
9 ARI 21-41 -3 44.5
10 @SF 6-10 +3.5 43
11 PHI 20-24 +3.5 46.5
12 @MIN 10-36 +10 47
13 STL 17-9 -9.5 41
14 GB - +3 43
15 @BAL - - -
16 MIN - - -
17 @DET - - -
CHI vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler     200,2
RB Matt Forte 40 30  
TE Greg Olsen   50,1  
WR Devin Hester 50
WR Earl Bennett   50  
WR Johnny Knox   30,1  
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: The win over the Rams may not be a shocker but at least it stopped a four game losing streak and made the Bears seem like they had a balanced offense if for only one week. This season has already been a lost cause and now that the weather is sure to decline, getting that offense running better is even more unlikely. This is the time that the Bears wish they had their old running game back.

Quarterback: Jay Cutler injured his right hand during the Rams win but he has never missed a game due to injury and is expected to play this week. But his level of play should be the concern since Cutler has thrown for 17 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He has only scored three times in the last four games and never more than once per game. Even his yardage has evaporated with three straight efforts of less than 172 passing yards. Slap "ORTON" on the back of his jersey and you have 2008.

Cutler passed for 277 yards and one score in the season opener in Green Bay but even then he had four interceptions.

The Packers have been soft against the pass in many games and the Bears are not going to run. I like Cutler to have a better game this week and throw for one score and maybe two at most. He will have to throw almost every down later in the game.

Running Backs: Matt Forte sprained his hand last week but it is not expected to get in the way of his underwhelming performance this week. Forte had a decent game last week with the Rams showing up but take away the home stands against the Lions, Browns and Rams and he has not scored or had more than 66 rushing yards in a game. He remains good for around four catches per week to salvage some fantasy value.

HC Lovie Smith is trying to get Kahlil Bell involved with 11 carries last week since he has decided more of a committee would be optimal and Forte has been bothered by a hamstring strain but played through it. All Bell does is turn Forte's marginal days into minimal games.

Forte rushed for 55 yards on 25 carries in the season opener in Green Bay.

The Packers bring in the best defense against running backs. Hope that Forte catches some passes.

Wide Receivers: The wideout production has been in near constant decline from the start of the season and Devin Hester has not scored since week seven or had more than 50 yards for the last month. Earl Bennett actually had his first touchdown of the year against the Rams but he has been only averaging around 50 yards per game. Johnny Knox scored in week 12 but otherwise has offered no value since week six.

Hester only had one catch last week because of a strained calf but he is expected to be okay to play this week. The Packers are without CB Al Harris and so much depends on who Charles Woodson takes - should be Bennett if they do not change it which they very well could. I like one score to end up with Knox because the starting wideouts are going to be hard to rely on this week.

Tight Ends: Greg Olsen had his second game with only one yard gained but he's been very consistent around 50 yards per game and has six scores this year. The Packers are far weaker against tight ends than any other position so expect Olsen at home to have a better week.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 17 29 16 7 20 18
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 12 1 7 21 1 20

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~ 2009 ~
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